“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;”
As we begin, I want us to study some verses from the 1 John 1. We will start from what I consider to be the two most misunderstood verses there, 1Jn 1:8,9: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Sadly, quite a number of people use the verses above to mean that even those who believe in Jesus are still in sin and need to constantly confess their sins. We will study the pre-texts to fully understand this, but in the meantime can you look at the phrase ‘cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ in verse 9? If God is able to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, then what unrighteousness would be left that we would need to keep confessing?
But that is by the way. Let us read carefully from 1 Jn 1:1-3: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
It is obvious from the texts above that John does not begin this letter by writing to believers. He writes to people who have not handled the ‘word of life,’ who don’t have eternal life, fellowship with the father or with his son Jesus.
Apostle John wants to point the unbeliever to his predicament so he can recognise the need for a saviour. If you don’t know Jesus, then you are in sin, no matter how good you think you are. But if you accept that you can’t be sinless without Christ, then you can receive his forgiveness. But to the believer, John says in 1 John 1:7: “ But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Hallelujah! Brother, sister, that’s the testimony of your life!